Writing about sex:how much to tell? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 03-09-2009, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My book, as much as I don't want to admit it, it a romance. I really want it to be literature, but it's so centric on this one relationship, I'm not sure it qualifies.

There is sex involved. In my head, I see it happening and sometimes it's significant to the story. So, how much do I tell? Imply? How much noise and bodily direction do I need to use here?

Personally, I read books that have some sex in them and I like it- depending on the writing. I hate hearing stuff about "his arrogant staff" or "her pillowy breasts heaving".

Anyone know of any tasteful sex scenes in books? Ever wrote one you don't feel embarassed to share- or even publish eventually?
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#2 of 9 Old 03-09-2009, 02:18 AM
 
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Well, there aren't technically hard and fast rules, but romances have been becoming more & more explicit. While the hideously flowery language does still pervade, I'm seeing a growing acceptance of words like c**k and vagina.

Honestly, though, write as you feel comfortable. I'm thinking about dropping the curtain fairly early on in my sex scenes, partly because I've been reading a bit too much Laurell K Hamilton lately, and partly because I apparently don't write them well. (The word splattered, for the record, does not belong in a sex scene. In my defense, I was 15 when I wrote that one.)

Just...if you're really writing a romance, be sure you've got in there that one moment that is absolutely essential to any romance novel sex scene: the moment in time when she looks at his pulsating manhood and wonders how it will ever fit in her smallness.

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#3 of 9 Old 03-09-2009, 04:09 AM
 
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As a wannabe novelist and (formerly avid) reader of romance novels, I think it's best to stay simple. My own rule of thumb is reading aloud. If I can read what I've written out loud without rolling my eyes or giggling, it works.

When I think about some of the better sex scenes I've read ... Outlander by Diana Gabaldon comes to mind. I can't really think of anybody else off-hand, but if I do, I'll come back and post.

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
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#4 of 9 Old 03-09-2009, 04:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sagesgirl View Post
just...if you're really writing a romance, be sure you've got in there that one moment that is absolutely essential to any romance novel sex scene: The moment in time when she looks at his pulsating manhood and wonders how it will ever fit in her smallness.
How did I miss this the first time I read it??

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
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#5 of 9 Old 03-09-2009, 09:56 AM
 
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Well, this is not specific to romances, as I have't read one in decades, but i just read this--One writer drafts every sex scene in as much explicit detail as he can, "what goes where", etc. Then he removes everything that he thinks will offend his mother. So the result is that he's left with quite a lot of authenticity, which is apparent, but much less graphic.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#6 of 9 Old 03-09-2009, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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pulsating manhood! Ha! I like to read those sort of things, but yeah, I can't imagine my family reading these sort of things.

I'm actually reading Outlander right now! I agree- she strikes a good balance.

Chick Lit seems to have brought forth alot of realistic sex scenes, at least in what Ive read. Here's an example of what I've done so far (early stages of editing here, the writing is sort of rough) (please excuse the language):

I’m not sure how to document the next few moments. I’m too unexperienced to describe how we got to the bed with the mustard coverlet. I can’t elaborate on the elegant movements that lead to clothes coming off, I suppose because both of us are so detached from our senses, the details are considerably blurry.
Everything stops. He is next to me on the bed, arms entwined around me, his cloudy eyes fixed on me with sudden intensity. “I’m not an asshole or anything.” His voice is low and soft. “I just..I’m having this awful day.”
“It’s ok.”
“I have nothing for you, really- if only we’d met another time.”
“You’re letting me down easy before sex?”
“I’m giving you a way out beforehand. Like I said, I’m just not an asshole. And…” He takes his hand and brushes some of my hair out of my face. I wish he hadn’t done that.
“And?”
He pushes his eyes closed and shakes some thought out of his head.
I don’t know what to say, so, I kiss him, and as my head spins, it all dissolves into warm.
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#7 of 9 Old 03-09-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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Cool! Not bad at all. May I have a go at this, please? The "I" here sounds at points a little too much like the author writing a sex scene, not the narrator. Why does she say "document"? Is this an extract from a diary? Anyway, I offer the following edit:


Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmaze View Post

I’m not sure how to describe the next few moments, how we got to the bed with the mustard coverlet, or how we took our clothes off, I suppose because both of us are so detached from our senses that the details are considerably blurry.
Everything stops. He is next to me on the bed, arms around me, his cloudy eyes fixed on me. “I’m not an asshole or anything.” His voice is low and soft. “I just..I’m having this awful day.”
“It’s ok.”
“I have nothing for you, really- if only we’d met another time.”
“You’re letting me down easy before sex?”
“I’m giving you a way out beforehand. Like I said, I’m just not an asshole. And…” He brushes some of my hair out of my face. I wish he hadn’t done that.
“And?”
He pushes his eyes closed and shakes some thought out of his head.
I don’t know what to say, so, I kiss him, and as my head spins, it all dissolves into warm.
ETA: the detail of the mustard coloured coverlet is very fine.
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#8 of 9 Old 03-09-2009, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm struggling with point of view in this story. I need to take a class or something! I agree- I'm not sure why I said "document".

Thanks for reading it! I need to figure out how to write first person or just figure out a point of view that works for me.
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#9 of 9 Old 03-13-2009, 01:37 AM
 
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